Seasonal savoury cooking

Happy November! The traditional autumn harvest period brings so many delicious and nutricious flavours to the table that it’s an exceptional time of year to favour warming vegetable based mains; below are a handful of seasonal twists on some classic family favourites.

Kale Pesto with wholewheat penne:

½ kilo kale

extra virgin olive oil

50g pine nuts (sub for hazlenuts or walnuts)

150g Pecorino Romano

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

200g wholewheat penne

Blanch the washed and separated Kale leaves in freshly boiled water, then pat dry. In a blender combine the softened leaves with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil, a fistful of your nut of choice (traditionalists may favour pine nuts but hazlenuts or walnuts also lend themselves to this dish), and around 100 grams of the Pecorino Romano. Season with sea salt and coarse black pepper to taste, then coat your cooked penne with the finished pesto, adding more grated Pecorino to serve.

Spiced Pumpkin soup:

1 kilo peeled and chopped pumpkin

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2-3 spring onions chopped

1 clove of garlic minced

1 inch cube of fresh ginger grated

550 ml good vegetable stock

200 ml light coconut milk

½ tsp chilli powder (medium or mild according to preference)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lime halved

handful of fresh coriander

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sautee the spring onions, garlic and ginger until tender, then add the diced pumpkin and continue to sautee until all the veg are softened. Add the stock, coconut milk and juice from half the lime then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow the soup to cool a little then liquidise and serve into warmed bowls squeezing a little more fresh lime into the bowl and garnishing with the fresh coriander leaves.

Feta and Beetroot Burgers:

4 beetroots peeled and grated

150 g rolled oats or rye flakes (or 75/75 of each)

1 red onion finely chopped

1 carrot grated

200g feta

1 clove garlic minced

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 eggs beaten

1 handful fresh oregano

Sea salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste

Peel and grate the beetroot and the carrot then chop the onion and mince the garlic and place all the grated vegetables in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, beaten eggs and oats/rye flakes and mix everything together, then crumble in the feta and the oregano and add salt and pepper. Leave covered for around 40 minutes, so the oats can drink in the moisture, then shape the burgers by hand. Grill the burgers for 3-4 minutes on each side and serve in Cypriot style pitta pockets with shredded cabbage, mustard or mayo.

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